Supporting and strengthen the community after Ya’an earthquake

 

"The colored-steel granary is good… I am not worried about the food turning bad, I am also not afraid of mice ruining the harvest and it is much more clean than the former one.", said Yanghan Xiang, a 60-year-old villager from Xiaoluo Village of Laochang Township, on October 17th after receiving a colored steel storage system as a donation by Amity. “The Ya’an earthquake destroyed our house and the rebuilding has just begun. It is a big problem to store our grain. Because in Ya'an it is raining heavily. We were afraid of that the grain would be rotten. We were also afraid of the grain being stolen or that mice spoil the grain by polluting it. But now after Amity sent us granaries, these problems have been resolved.”

At the day when the earthquake struck Ya’an, the Amity Foundation sent emergency rescue teams to severely-affected townships in Ya’an’s counties and districts, namely Tianquan County, Baoxing County, Lushan County, and Mingshan District and Yucheng District, and distributed relief supplies, including rice, cooking oil, cooking tools, tarpaulin, blankets and folding beds. View our reports before. While carrying out emergency relief work, Amity’s rescue team also investigated future needs for reconstruction during the coming stages of recovery. Thereafter, Amity staff gave recommendations and suggestions on rebuilding measures in three villages of Laochang Township, Tianquan County, Ya’an. In the first stage of the rebuilding project, a weir of an irrigation canal was repaired; a community service center and a multi-purpose building as well as grain- storage systems were built. In Laochang Township, which is only eight kilometers beeline apart from the epicenter, the earthquake caused a large number of rural houses collapsing and damaged the infrastructure severely. Preliminary assessments figure direct economic losses of RMB 160 million and further indirect costs of RMB 420 million.

Amity Foundation will continue focusing on the needs of the affected people during the recovery and reconstruction process. Besides the support to overcome the difficulties in daily life after the disaster by rebuilding their homes, Amity Foundation also aims to strengthen the community spirit.  With setting up local project offices, Amity mobilizes and encourages the villagers to participate in all aspects of the project including the planning, implementation, supervision and management. Thereby, Amity hopes to encourage people’s participation and awareness for open community projects. By providing disaster relief training Amity also wants to support the establishment of new local forces being capable to conduct relief projects on their own.

Martin Lachmann